The American online store Zappos sells shoes and clothing over the internet. It was bought by Amazon 1.2 billion dollars, it is one of the great cases about customer service, worth knowing.
And today the company is not only impressed by its customer service but also by its curious management model, the so-called holocracy: a distributed authority system – a set of “rules of the game” that place empowerment at the core of the organization.
In this model, basically authority and decision making are distributed by self-organized teams, rather than at the top of a hierarchy.
Is this all or not enough reason for any company to pay attention to the famous “Zappos culture”?
The company has always focused on good customer service / support and is proof that a quality customer service can put a business really at the top.
At Zappos there is no middle ground, the customer is a priority and service is a reference.
Ony Hsieh, CEO of e-commerce since 2000, started with a shy company that only sold shoes on the internet. However, in a short time, the store grew, started selling other products and generating more and more profit until, in 2009, the company was acquired by Amazon.
This impressive growth was only possible because Tony put the customer service as the organization’s priority instead of profits (can you imagine that?).
This made the customers, extremely satisfied with the service, indicate the company to their acquaintances, the famous word-of-mouth marketing and thus, of course, Zappos has been gaining more and more consumers and consequently higher billing
And why are we talking about this company? Simple, as we have said, it is a case of success, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Then, follow what you can learn about Zappos’ customer service, and focus on service so your organization can succeed.
Customer service and support of quality is a matter of business culture!
You do not necessarily need to create a lot of rules of conduct for your employees when it comes to delivering good customer service, Zappos has shown that a set of rules is not as effective as having a business culture that truly values the customer (after all, Your business only exists because of it).
Depending on the circumstances of your business and context, we know how manuals and scripts can be disempowering, to use a buzzword.
Many say categorically (including Tony Hsieh himself) that Zappos is a “customer service company that happens to sell shoes and clothes.”
And one of the core values of its service culture is the delivery of the “wow” factor (in Zappos’s own words) to its clients, through services, stimulating creativity and change, creating fun, being open to innovations, seeking growth And learning, build open and honest relationships, have team spirit and family, do more with less, be passionate, determined and be humble.
These principles should be accepted by everyone in the company and only people who had affinity with these values were hired.
Imagine the scene: a strong team of 600 employees who take care of phones, e-mail, and chat lines is not just any call-center but the more autonomous customer service team across the industry – And this works wonderfully well!
The service at Zappos was completely personalized, no customer was served the same way and as has been said, there was no script to follow.
Every person who contacted the company should get full attention from the clerk, who would create a close relationship with the consumer and talk to him as long as it takes to solve his problem.
When you do not have customer service goals to beat, employees can focus on quality of care, as they do not need to dispense the customer as soon as possible.
And this is much more important, since the customer feels really special and ends up being loyal. Within the reality of your company, could you implement this practice? Think about!
Loyalty before, profit later.
The idea behind the title of this topic is quite simple: before you think about the financial return, you should think about how each attendant can satisfy the customer of your company.
At Zappos, for example, it was worth everything, employees had the autonomy to do whatever they thought necessary to please the consumer, from sending personalized messages to customers to sending new products and gifts in case of any problem.
Even if the customer was looking for a product that the company did not have, the employee could look at the competition and tell the customer where to find the product (take courage to do that, right?).
You may be wondering, “But wait, does not that make a sale go away?”
At least within the experience of the company, it seems that by doing so, the customer feels valued and consequently will be loyal to the company, because, because of the attention given to it, it will return at an opportune moment.
“Errare Humanum Est”: everybody make mistakes the important thing is to admit and improve.
An interesting point to highlight within the Zappos culture is the encouragement of admission of error.
The important thing is that if an error is made, it is assumed and resolved, even if it means financial loss to the company at first.
How about stimulating that same stance in your company?
In practical terms, it means that if customers are harmed with a thoughtless discount promise, for example, if the mistake is made and the promise is fulfilled.
You can be sure that you will get their trust and respect.
The biggest lesson you can learn from Zappos is: in customer service, make it clear that the customer is your priority. You will see that this will win many more consumers and leverage your business.
Don’t forget your employees.
Promote the training of your employees or in the words of Zappos founder Tony Hsieh: “Empower and trust your customer service representatives. And believe them they want to do good service … because, in fact, they do. “
Do you already apply any of these actions to your business? Does your company truly prioritize your consumer? Do you invest in good practices in customer service? Tell us about!